NASHVILLE (TSU New Service) – How can businesses and industry mitigate risk in supply chain management?
That is the question more than 100 representatives from industry and academia grappled with at a two-day summit hosted by the College of Business on the Avon William campus.
“Managing supply chain risks has always been a serious and comprehensive matter that increasingly impacts financial performance,” said Linda Conrad, Director of Strategic Business Risk Management at Zurich Services Corporation, which specializes in risk engineering and management.
Speaking on “Helping protect profitability from supply chain impact,” Conrad said as supply flows from “point A to point B,” there are potential risks that could disrupt that flow.
“These disruptions, such as natural disasters, are more frequent and most of the time unpredictable,” said the Zurich executive, adding that more than 85 percent of companies experienced a supply chain disruption in 2011, while 50 percent of those companies experienced* more than one disruption.
She said companies must benchmark how they stack up against each other in risk assessment and be proactive, “analyzing business interruption risks along value chain that allows a top-down modeling approach.”
The summit, the second hosted by TSU in two years on “Risk Management in the Supply Chain,” which opened October 15, started with a pre-summit session for TSU supply chain majors on “Fears, myths, and realities of working and living abroad,” and exercises that tested the students’ knowledge and reinforced their learning about global engagement.
Other topics were also intended to provide students with real-world exposure in the discipline and give them the opportunity to engage leaders in the actual world of supply chain management, the process of managing the flow of material and information in a supply chain to provide the highest degree of customer satisfaction at the lowest possible cost.
“The intent here is to have this summit serve as a platform for industry leaders to share expertise on the challenges and opportunities in supply chain, as well as equip our students – the future supply chain leaders – with proven industry solutions,” said Dr. Festus O. Olorunniwo, Head of the Department of Business Administration.
“This summit has given me a great opportunity to network with industry professionals, and I’ve developed connections that could potentially develop into employment with one of these major companies,” said Jasmine E. Hudson, a senior Business Administration major with a concentration in supply chain and e-commerce.
Using GlobeSmart, a web tool that gives business personnel instant access to information on how to effectively conduct business internationally, Hudson, a Cincinnati, Ohio native, along with a number of students in Supply Chain, developed and made a presentation that provided each presenter’s country-specific information on working and interacting effectively with people from around the world.
The presentation received raved review at the summit, as shown by the level of interaction among participants.
Many of the representatives from nearly 25 companies at the summit serve on the TSU Supply Chain Management Board, headed by Corning Executive Patricia Brewer Hairston, who also serves as Corning Executive on Loan to TSU.
Other Board members are from Boeing, Dell Inc., Genco, HCA, Ozburn Hessey, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Lexmark International, Wal-Mart, REMAR Inc., GCS Consulting, Tractor Supply Company, Cummins Filtration and SourceMark Inc.
The Board meets Thursday, following the close of the summit, according to Hairston.
Other institutions that participated in the summit were the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Central Washington University, Eastern Illinois University and Western Illinois University.
Participants and presenters also came from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, GSC Management and Consulting, Schaeffler Group, Theo Chocolate, Gaylor Entertainment Company and Nissan.
Participants were treated to a dinner at the Governor’s Mansion on Monday, and were taken on a tour of the Nissan Plant in Smyrna, Tenn., at the end of the summit on Tuesday.
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Motto: Think, Work, Serve Established: June 19, 1912 Type: Public, HBCU Endowment: $41.7 million Chancellor: John Morgan President: Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover Faculty: 431 Enrollment: 8775 Location: Nashville, Tennessee, United States Campus: Urban, 500 acres (2 km²) Former names: Tennessee A&I State Normal School for Negroes (1912); Tennessee A&I State Normal College (1925); Tennessee A&I State University (1951); Tennessee State University (1968) Colors: Reflex Blue and White Nickname: Tigers Athletics: National Collegiate Athletic Association Affiliations: Ohio Valley Conference Web site: www.tnstate.edu Phone: 615-963-5000
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